Pope Clement III – 174th Pope

Pope Clement III was the 174th pope and the third Pope Clement not counting the antipope who used the same name. He was pope for 1,187 days from 1187 to 1191. This article provides some valuable information on Pope Clement III.

Early Life

Known as Paulino or Paolo, the man who would become Pope Clement III was born in 1130 in the city of Rome. He was Roman and had a relationship with Pope Alexander III, which led to his appointment as the Archpriest of the Liberian Basilica.

He then became the first cardinal deacon of the Cardinal Titular Church then known as Santi Sergio e Bacco. Though he took on the role in March of 1179, he left the position in December of the following year to become the cardinal-bishop of Palestrina. He remained there until becoming pope.

Papal Election

Unlike other popes who faced opposition during their elections, Clement III was an almost unanimous choice. Following the death of Gregory VIII, Church members gathered to pick the next pope. They chose Clement III in December of 1187 and almost immediately appointed him.

Helping Roman Citizens

To show that he was the right choice, Clement III almost instantly began working on some of the issues left over from the last pope. One conflict related to both the people living in Rome and Church officials. For more than 50 years, citizens resented that the Church could pick their officials. Clement III created an agreement that allowed citizens to pick some of their officials while the pope could still pick the governor.

Other Work as Pope

When he became pope, there were only 20 men in the College of Cardinals. Clement III took on the responsibility of appointing new members and appointed more than 30 men as new cardinals during his tenure. The pope worked on his relationships with other leaders, including Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa and King William I of Scotland. To help Scotland, he stopped the Archbishop of York from controlling the Scottish Church, which made the Church of Scotland a separate entity. Not only after naming the new Holy Roman Emperor, Pope Clement III passed away.

List of events in the life of Pope Clement III

Mar 117949.1AppointedCardinal-Deacon of Santi Sergio e Bacco
Mar 117949.1Elevated to Cardinal
Dec 118050.9AppointedCardinal-Bishop of Palestrina
19 Dec 118757.9ElectedPope (Roma, Italy)
7 Jan 118858.0InstalledPope (Roma, Italy)
27 Mar 119161.2DiedPope (Roma, Italy)

Quick Facts About Pope Clement III

  • He was born in Rome in 1130 when it was part of the Holy Roman Empire and the Papal States.

  • Though his last name at birth was Scolari, his first name was either Paolo or Paulino.

  • He died on March 20, 1191, while living in Rome.

  • There are no death records for Pope Clement III, though it was likely natural causes that led to his death.

  • The papacy of Pope Clement III began on December 19, 1187.

  • His papacy ended on March 20 of 1191 after his death.

  • Celestine III followed Clementine III as the next pope.

Interesting Facts About Pope Clement III

  • Clement III faced opposition from King Henry VI because he promised the king that he would be the Holy Roman Emperor and then picked another man. The two were still in the middle of fighting when the pope passed away.

  • He was pope for 2,476 days but was not a popular choice. The same day that he died, Church officials elected and appointed the next pope.

  • As one of the men who helped organize and later support the Third Crusade, he worked closely with Phillip Augustus and Richard I who was the King of England at the time. King Richard would later become known as Richard the Lionheart.

  • Clement III was a cardinal for close to nine years before being elected pope.

  • Historians believe that Clement III was 57 when he became pope and 61 when his papacy ended.